WE all know one. Every street has one, along with every town, city and village.

They are the selfless people who don’t ask for thanks but deserve it.

The unassuming folk who go that extra mile to benefit their local community. Unrecognised and unappreciated, they are Bolton’s true unsung heroes.

But who are they? Perhaps they are caring for the pensioner next door or volunteering to take a youth group to the countryside.

Maybe they’re running a children’s football or cricket team or giving up their time to helping out in their child’s school.

Every day in The Bolton News we hear about these people, people who might be postmen, nurses, policemen or council workers, the kind of people who do that bit extra, beyond the call of duty.

Now, in an effort to find these people, the Mayor of Bolton, Cllr Hilary Fairclough, is teaming up with the University of Bolton, The Bolton News and Bolton FM, to help highlight Bolton’s unsung heroes and honour them at a glittering awards ceremony.

Together we hope to reveal the stories of some of the thousands of volunteers who regularly help and care for others with no thought for personal reward.

The Mayor said: “We want to find the lollipop ladies who go the extra mile, the people who operate a regular service for the elderly and isolated, the youngsters who go out of their way to care for others. All those, in fact, who give freely of their time and work so hard as volunteers.

“I’ve already met so many amazing volunteers and organisations during my mayoral year but I am sure there are many more such individuals and groups out there and we need your help to find them.

“We can’t find them without the help of local people and organisations. We need to know about these special people who never step into the spotlight. We want to take this rare opportunity to say ‘thank you’ and to let everyone know what amazing individuals we have in our town.”

The awards are in six categories covering education, environment, sport, health, community and young people under 25. Entry is by form, downloadable from The Bolton News’ website or by contacting the Mayor’s Office on 01204 331090 or by emailing mayorsoffice@bolton.gov.uk Entries close on January 31, 2020.

A panel of judges will select three finalists in each category and six winners who will be invited along with their supporters to the Unsung Heroes’ Awards at Bolton Town Hall on March 25, 2020.

Professor George E Holmes DL, President and Vice Chancellor of the University of Bolton which is sponsoring the event, said: “As an institution we are at the heart of the local community and I am delighted to offer the University’s support to these important awards in their inaugural year. We know how many people in this borough work quietly but extremely hard, behind the scenes without the recognition they richly deserve.

"We are excited to hear the amazing stories from those in our community without whose support a huge number of organisations simply would not be able to function.”